Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, May 29, 2008
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California counties can begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on June 17, the state's Office of Vital Records determined today. That is a day later than many county officials had assumed and some same-sex couples had booked time slots for weddings on June 16.
The decision to issue licenses starting June 17 allows the state Supreme Court the maximum time to consider any challenge to its ruling before it takes effect, according to a letter sent today to county clerks by the Office of Vital Records.
County clerks can begin issuing marriage licenses that day, "assuming no legal developments to the contrary," according to the state letter.
Opponents of same-sex marriage have asked the court to delay implementing its decision until after the November election, when the state's voters are likely to decide whether to amend the California Constitution to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. A Field Poll released today, however, showed most voters do not support such a measure.
The Office of Vital Records also determined today how the new forms for marriage licenses will refer to those who are marrying. Instead of gender-specific designations, the forms refer to applicants as "Party A" and "Party B."